Source: NPR. Interesting point here, which is one that I have considered frequently. I find that I tend to delay listening to long albums and boxed sets until I have the time to do so, which is not often. Further, my attention span for one sitting is about 30-60 minutes, though I may have several sittings in one day (on a good day that is). As a result, I think I would tend to unconsciously put more value on two standalone EP-length releases than one single or double album. Again, there is a supply and demand thread running through this – the supply of good music is quite high and most folks’ free time for listening seems to be getting harder to find.
Though the death of the album format has been talked up ever since digital files became the dominating medium for listening to music, recently there has been a proliferation full-length releases that are both critically acclaimed and super duper long. Over the past months, albums by Kendrick Lamar, Titus Andronicus, Tenement and Kamasi Washington have all run near or well over the 80-minute mark. And sure it’s great to have challenging and ambitious musical works to contend with, the reality is, do we really have time for this?
To try to understand the motivation for artists to make these extra long releases and what expectations they put upon listeners, Ducker spoke with Mark Richardson, the editor-in-chief of Pitchfork.